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Science and Technology to Ensure the Safety of the Nation's Drinking Water


This report was published December 2016 by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

Americans have come to expect access to safe and affordable drinking water as a fundamental right and integral part of sustaining public health.  And, indeed, public drinking-water systems in the United States provide high-quality drinking water most of the time in most places. But public confidence regarding the quality of their drinking water has been shaken lately by a series of high-visibility crises. 

The recent crises highlight the long-term national challenges to maintaining high-quality drinking water, resulting particularly from continuing and legacy source-water pollution and an aging infrastructure that is in need of significant repair and modernization.  Advances in science and technology will offer new opportunities for the development of safe, affordable, and reliable monitoring and treatment options for public and private water systems.     

The report highlights a number of near- and long-term recommendations that will empower Federal agencies and their partners in the states, academia, and the private sector to develop and implement the scientific and technological advances that will help to further improve the safety of the Nation’s drinking water system.

Download the full report here.